DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Steam burn. The burned and blistered hand of a 15 year-old boy caused by steam. Heating the skin over 49 degrees centigrade for even brief periods results in burn damage. The mildest burns (such as sunburn) are known as first degree burns. These cause reddening and only affect the top layer of the skin. Second degree burns damage the skin more deeply causing blisters. Third degree burns destroy the full skin thickness, making the burned area look charred. When the skin is badly burnt it can not protect itself from infection. Treatments for severe burns include antibiotic drugs, ointments and skin grafting.
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